ong time Chicago actor Anish Jethmalani has been recently named an Associate Artist for TimeLine Theatre, where he acts in "In The Next Room, Or The Vibrator Play". The Chicago premiere of this “insightful, fresh and funny” (The New York Times) play by Sarah Ruhl, is directed by TimeLine Company Member Mechelle Moe. Sarah Ruhl— a Chicago native and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, Tony Award nominee, and 2006 recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship—has written a story of awakening, equality, and the need for connection that offers a “rare and savvy premise that manages to be titillating and amusing” (Chicago Tribune). "In The Next Room, Or The Vibrator Play" runs October 26-December 16, 2017. Tickets can be purchased here. Please note that this play takes place at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Avenue.
What's your personal story?
I’ve been part of the Chicago Theatre Community for over 20 years and am proud to call Chicago my home. I’ve been very fortunate enough to work at several wonderful theatres around town including The Goodman, Court, Victory Gardens, Lookingglass, Writers, Chicago Shakespeare and of course Timeline, where I was just recently named a new Artistic Associate. I come from an artistic family where I’ve had several members of my family participate in the performing arts in one way or another. I’m a big sports fan, love to travel and enjoy really good food, so Chicago is the ideal place to be for that.
What's your character's story in "In The Next Room, or The Vibrator Play”?
I play the character of Dr. Givings in “In The Next Room, or the Vibrator Play.” He is a doctor who in 1880s America, specializes in the treatment of “Hysteria” in women. He is extremely passionate about his work and is enthusiastic about the inventions and the discoveries he makes in the world of science. He tends to be very practical about all things including his relationship with his wife, Catherine. I would say his story is not only about discovering the potential of his inventions and what they can do for the treatment of his patients, but also the discovery of the love within his relationship with his wife and the possibilities that brings forth to bring them closer together.
What challenges does your character face telling this story?
I believe the challenges my character faces are finding that balance between work life and family life, an issue that is universal to most people. But also facing the challenges of a new child in the family and what that does to the relationship between a husband and wife, specifically how are they able to meet the demands of caring for a new child, but also not letting their own relationship lose passion as a result.
How does the character overcome those challenges?
Without giving way too much away, there are a series of comical hurdles and misunderstandings that all of the characters go through to find that love within themselves and each other. I think the audience will have a fun time making those discoveries with the characters as they venture through the story and will definitely leave them with much to talk about afterwards.
Any other comments?
I’m very proud of the influence The Chicago Inclusion Project has had in bringing this production to life and grateful that Timeline has chosen to produce it. For me, the best type of theatre is seeing faces on and behind the stage that reflect the world at large. I think the audience will really have great fun watching this show. I hope you will come see it!